On getting there

A short post today, based on a realization I had earlier this week at CocoaHeads.

Like many, I often suffer from impostor syndrome. It hits when I’m tackling something new that I thought built on previous knowledge, leaving me feeling a bit bewildered, and undermining my confidence in having mastered lesser matters.

Usually, I take a walk and come back to the problem with a clearer head, and will work my way through it.

Given that I’ve always worked as a solo developer, with no formal computer science or software engineering background, I’ve always felt a bit iffy about my programming chops. I do my best to emulate what I see, but sometimes can’t shake the feeling that the code I write is amateur and inelegant.

I look back at old code and think it’s garbage. This should probably be seen as an indicator that I’m progressing, but it sometimes just reinforces the “you’re a hack” feelings.

But Tuesday, looking at some of the code presented in the demos, I realized that people were writing code the same way I would have written it. Maybe some stylistic differences, sure, but generally, it turns out that I’m at a point where my approach to writing code is getting there.

I guess the point is that, eventually, you get there. A year ago, if I had to show code to someone, I would have been making all manner of apologies for it. While I’m still pretty far from mastery, it’s reassuring to see the improvement.

So, you know. Just keep swimming.

Angelo Stavrow

Montreal, Canada
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Tinkerer with a strong interest for development, of both the personal and software persuasion; easily defeated with spatulas. Equal measures enthusiasm and concern for tech's effect on the world. He/him.